Skip to main content
Key facts
Full title The Blind Beggar
Artist Josephus Laurentius Dyckmans
Artist dates 1811 - 1888
Date made 1853
Medium and support Oil on mahogany
Dimensions 50.3 x 46.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated and inscribed
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Miss J. Clarke, 1859
Inventory number NG600
Location Gallery A: Paintings after 1600
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Blind Beggar
Josephus Laurentius Dyckmans

An old man leans against the wall of a church, tilting his head towards the light shining down on the scene. A little girl leans towards him, her hand outstretched as if begging. The pair are shabby but spotlessly clean. Their skin glows in the light; the man’s beard, painted strand by strand with a brush with a single hair, is combed and meticulous.

This painting, perhaps a little sentimental to modern eyes, was intended for the nineteenth-century middle-class home, where charity towards the poor was encouraged – though donations were only for people thought of as ‘the deserving poor’. Those considered rogues – shown drunk, thieving or simply dirty, in pamphlets put out by organisations concerned with the morals of the poor – need not apply for charity. It would be withheld (doubtless with a strong sense of self-justification).

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo